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List of wars involving Poland

List of wars involving Poland

This is a chronological list of wars in which Poland or its predecessor states of took an active part, extending from the reign of Mieszko I (960–992) to the present. This list does not include peacekeeping operations (such as UNPROFOR, UNTAES or UNMOP), humanitarian missions or training missions supported by the Polish Armed Forces.

The list gives the name, the date, the Polish allies and enemies, and the result of these conflicts following this legend:

  Polish victory
  Polish defeat
  Another result
  Internal conflict
  Ongoing conflict

Piast Poland (960–1138)

During the Middle Ages, Poland sought to incorporate other fellow West Slavic peoples under the rule of the Polan dukes, such as Mieszko I, Boleslaw I Chrobry and their descendants, and then defend the lands conquered in the west from the Holy Roman Empire. In the east and south it struggled with Ruthenia, Bohemia and Tatar raiders. In the north-east, it encountered intermittent Lithuanian and Prussian raids.

Feudal fragmentation (1138–1320)

In 1138, after the death of Bolesław III Wrymouth, Poland was divided into districts ruled by local princes. This began a period of feudal fragmentation that lasted for more than 187 years during which Poland was severely weakened due to incessant internal conflicts. The feudal fragmentation ended in 1320 during the reign of Władyslaw I Lokietek.

Reunited Kingdom of Poland (1320–1385)

In 1320, after the end of the feudal fragmentation, during the reign of Władyslaw I Łokietek and his son Casimir III the Great, Poland experienced a period of strong economic development, this period also increased migration to Poland especially of Germans and Jews. The period ended after the death of Casimir the Great and the assumption of the Polish throne by Louis I.

Jagiellon Poland (1385–1569)

For much of its early history as a Christian state, Poland had to contend with Pomeranians, Prussians, Lithuanians and other Baltic peoples in continuous border wars without clear results or end in sight. After the Teutonic Order conquered and assimilated the Prussians, it began incursions into both Polish and Lithuanian territories. This represented a far greater threat to both Poland and Lithuania, and the two countries united in a defensive alliance by the crowning of the Lithuanian Duke Jogaila as King of Poland (as Władysław II) which led to a major confrontation at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410 and subsequent wars until 1525, when the Order became a vassal to the Polish Crown.

Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795)

The 17th century saw fierce rivalry between the then major Eastern European powers – Sweden, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. At its heyday, the Commonwealth comprised the territories of present-day Poland, and large parts of Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia, and represented a major European power. However, by the end of the 18th century a series of internal conflicts and wars with foreign enemies led to the dissolution of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the partitioning of most of its dependent territories among other European powers.

During the 18th century, European powers (most frequently consisting of Russia, Sweden, Prussia and Saxony) fought several wars for the control of the territories of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. At the end of the 18th century, some Poles attempted to defend Poland from growing foreign influence in the country's internal affairs. These late attempts to preserve independence eventually failed, ultimately ending in Poland's partition and the final dissolution of the remains of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Napoleonic Wars (Duchy of Warsaw)

Poles unsuccessfully struggled to win back their independence throughout the 19th century. At first, they put their hopes in Napoleon. Later, they tried to ignite national uprisings every now and then – most of them bloodily repressed.

Poland under partitions (1815–1918)

Poles unsuccessfully struggled to win back their independence throughout the 19th century. At first, they put their hopes in Napoleon. Later, they tried to ignite national uprisings every now and then – most of them bloodily repressed.

Second Polish Republic (1918–1939)

In the turmoil of the First World War, Poles managed to regain independence and then to expand their territory in a series of local wars and uprisings; only to be occupied again during the next world war.

Poland during World War II (1939–1945)

The history of Poland from 1939 to 1945 encompasses primarily the period from the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to the end of World War II. Following the German–Soviet non-aggression pact, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany on 1 September 1939 and by the Soviet Union on 17 September. The campaigns ended in early October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland. After the Axis attack on the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, the entirety of Poland was occupied by Germany, which proceeded to advance its racial and genocidal policies across Poland.

Communist Poland (1945–1989)

The second half of the 20th century was more peaceful, but still tense, as Poland was involved in the Cold War on the Soviet side.

Third Polish Republic (1989–present)

At the beginning of the 21st century Poland is involved in the War against terrorism on the NATO side.

See also

  • History of the Polish Army
  • List of Napoleonic battles
  • List of wars involving Germany – An aspect of German military history
  • List of wars involving Russia
  • List of wars involving Ukraine
  • Polish–Ottoman Wars
  • Polish–Russian Wars – Russo-Polish Wars
  • Polish–Swedish wars – History of military conflicts between the nationsPages displaying short descriptions of redirect targets



Further reading

  • Gąsowski, Tomasz (1999). Bitwy polskie: leksykon. Kraków: Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. ISBN 83-7006-787-5.
  • Kozłowski, Eligiusz; Wrzosek, Mieczysław (1984). Historia oręża polskiego 1795–1939. Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna. ISBN 83-214-0339-5.
  • Lawson, M. K. (2004). Cnut – England's Viking King (2nd ed.). Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2964-7.
  • Nowak, Tadeusz M.; Wimmer, Jan (1981). Historia oręża polskiego 963–1795. Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna. ISBN 83-214-0133-3.
  • Reuter, Timothy (1995). The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 3, c.900–c.1024. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 891. ISBN 9780521364478. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  • Sikorski, Janusz (1972). Zarys historii wojskowości powszechnej do końca wieku XIX. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej. OCLC 20835374.
  • Winged Hussars, Radoslaw Sikora, Bartosz Musialowicz, BUM Magazine, 2016.

Further reading

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Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: List of wars involving Poland by Wikipedia (Historical)